Rain, rain go away

Keith Bryant
 I don’t know about your weekend, but I spent most of mine in the house. The weather sure hampered any adventuring outside. 
 Saturday morning, Sharon and I headed out to do a little beginner yoga with Nicole. We started this earlier in the month as a way of doing something together every week and it has been fun for both of us. 
 Normally throughout the week I will get recipes added to a Pinterest page that we share. It is really nice to have a confident cook in the house that is willing to try everything.
 The menu this week was from an NPR segment on the making of whoopie pies. I have never made them before and told Sharon, “You get the ingredients and I will make them.” 
 After cleaning my 30-day dry-aged beef and cutting it up into steaks, I cleaned the kitchen and went into baking mode.
 The origin of the whoopie pie is very confusing, but it is an American baked product that may be considered either a cookie, pie, sandwich, or cake. 
 It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of usually chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin, gingerbread or other flavored cakes, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them. 
 With ties to New England and the Pennsylvania Amish people they are sold throughout the country. 
 The first real history is from a bakery in Maine in 1925. It was officially branded in 1928 from a bakery in Roxbury, Massachusetts and goes by a couple of other names regionally. You may be able to find it as black moon, gob, black and white, bob or BFO for big fat Oreo. 
 It is easy to make and fun to eat. Try this on a baking day.
Chocolate whoopie pies with peanut butter filling
Found on Website theheritagecook.com
Whoopie Pies
2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
Peanut Butter Filling
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp. fine sea salt
Yield: About 12 whoopie pies (24 individual cakes)
 Prepare the whoopie pies: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat 350 degrees F. Butter or spray a whoopie pie pan, even if the pan is nonstick. If you don’t have a whoopie pie pan, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
 In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
 In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter on medium until soft and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until well blended. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes. Then add in the vanilla.
 Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated and you’ve got a thick, smooth, silky batter.
 Using a spring-loaded 2 tbsp. cookie scoop, place a rounded scoop in each of the whoopie molds – no need to flatten the batter, it will spread as it bakes. If not using a form, drop rounded scoops on the parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure to leave at least 2-inches between each one. Unless you have two whoopie pans, you will have to bake the cakes in batches. Cover the leftover batter between baking the batches.
 Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cakes puff and spring back when lightly pressed in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool. If you baked the cakes on parchment, slide the paper off the baking sheet onto a rack and let the cakes cool to room temperature before carefully lifting them off the paper.
 Bake the remaining batter. Cool the cakes to room temperature before filling them.
 Make the Filling: Working in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients together on medium-high speed until soft, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
 Fill the whoopie pies: Using a piping bag with a plain or star tip or a spoon, pipe a generous amount of filling on the flat side of half the cakes. Top with the other halves, flat side down, twisting the tops gently just to make certain that the pieces are “glued” together.

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